Medicine & NewSpace

TEDxNASA event

When will this event take place?

10AM- 7 PM on Friday, November 20, 2009.
Where will the event take place?

The event will be held in the newly constructed, acoustically acclaimed Ferguson Center for the Arts on the campus of Christopher Newport University (CNU),
1 University Place, Newport News, Virginia, 23606.

What is TED?

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.


TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So they’re building a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and they are also building a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is call TEDxNASA, where x=independently organized TED event. At our TEDx NASA event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.


This is more than just putting a group of famous, and not-so-famous names on a stage to entertain an audience. NASA is synonymous with innovation and thought leadership, TEDx is about ideas worth spreading. The TEDxNASA event will provide an opportunity to leverage the strengths of both organizations to present a unique opportunity for the exchange of game-changing ideas.

Space to Create

The theme for our TEDxNASA event is Space to Create. For NASA, the word ‘space’ generally has one meaning, for others, space can be a studio or a library, or a city park. NASA has always been on the leading edge of space exploration. Now NASA is on the leading edge of creating space for riveting talks by remarkable people. Each session will contain a great variety of topics from different walks of life.

Source: Mass High Tech
In 2007, Peter Homer developed a pair of gloves for a NASA contest — and won $200,000 for his effort. He has since launched Flagsuit LLC, a Maine-based startup developing pressure suits for astronauts that also has application as a medical device. “I started with the hands, and now I’m working on the whole thing,” Homer said. Homer designed the gloves with soft joints, rather than metal fixtures — making them more flexible, so the wearer could move with less effort. The technique also made the gloves more comfortable and cheaper to make, Homer said.

As a one-man startup Flagsuit has its eyes on making pressure suits, worn under spacesuits, for the space tourism industry, which Homer sees growing in the next two years. In the meantime, the startup plans to make money selling the suit as a medical device taking the place of a hyperbaric chamber. In addition to the $200,000 from NASA, Flagsuit has received $24,000 in three seed grants from the Maine Technology Institute. Homer is now looking for $1.2 million in angel funding in two rounds. Homer plans to use the first $600,000 to build a prototype of the hyperbaric suit and bring it to market. The remaining $600,000 would be used to ramp up manufacturing and marketing.
Flagsuit won the 2009 Space Frontier Foundation Business Plan competition which was sposnored by the Robert Heinlein trust. 62MileClub’s Robert Jacobson served as a judge for the competition.

Surgeons in space?  How will they function without gravity?

Look, this isn't Rocket Surgery.

As the son of an M.D., the brother of a med school student, the grand-son of a WWII army medic, and the nephew of a nurse, I have to admit I’m somewhat of a medicine geek.  HOWEVER, I hereby promise only to post articles that pertain to medicine and NewSpace.  Lucky for me (and you) the future of NewSpace and the future of Medicine will likely be dancing to the beat of the same song.

Check this shit out…this post is compliments of Colony Worlds:

“Although microgravity is not exactly the greatest place to sustain an injury (unless you are a dangerous microbe), many scientists are exploring new ways of conducting surgery in a weightless environment.

While a space doctor will be needed to help mend the wounds of astronauts, they may choose to use lasers to seal the wound instead of medical stitches”

Interesting concept, I think you’ll find.  However, what’s also interesting is how such procedures done by necessity in space can teach us on Earth new medical applications.  Think, no stitches on earth!